Mandan News

Vern Davis: Graner Park restoration continues


Hello from Morton County Parks.

Here we are – summer season is about over and everyone is still waiting for the really good camping season to start. Sorry folks, it’s about over.

Graner Park is showing signs of getting back to normal – “wait ’til next year” – you have heard that before I know, but as I write this article we can count the following done:

1. The new electric boxes are in except for the fish cleaning station, and that is supposed to be on the way.

2. Grass is planted in the electric area and due to a little rain, some has sprouted.

3. The roads and camping pads are being resurfaced with gravel as I write this. The gravel is dumped, bladed and then packed.

4. A pit has been dug for a new cast concrete vault toilet near the playground area. This will replace the red cider block one which has been in poor shape for years.

5. About 100 dead trees have been removed and piled up. They were cut off and the stumps were then dug out with a backhoe.

6. We borrowed a front end loader for a week from the Morton County Highway Department and Tim used it to fill the stump holes and to move and pile as much silt and sand as time allowed.

7. Finally, on two different occasions, students from the Youth Correctional Center came out and walked two sections of the park, picking up all manner of debris which was left from the flood. These students did a great job of cleaning and piling up the material. They did more in an hour or two than our crew could have done in several days. So, thanks to Ron Crouse, the supervisors and the boys for being so helpful.

At the rest of the parks, Harmon Lake has been busy. It seems like every time I have been up there, there were groups at the beach area playing in the water, san d, and in the new playground area. Add to that, bikers on the trail, kayakers and fishermen on the water and as one person told me: “We found a new well-kept secret here in Morton County.”

Hopefully, the low water boat ramp will be open in a week or so at Fort Rice. I’ve been waiting for the okay to get the work done, but so far it hasn’t happened.

Finally, one last story and I’ll quit boring you – last week I was up at Harmon Lake picking up the camping receipts when I realized I hadn’t been to Crown Butte Park since I came off the “disabled list.” So I headed there. When I arrived at the boat ramp at Crown Butte, there were a couple of tailgaters with a grill going. I said “Hi” and pretty soon these two gentlemen were sharing their brats, chips and coke with me. It was noon and they had taken a break from fishing out on the water in the boat. This was one of the nicest things that has happened in several years working for Morton County Parks. Even though I can’t recall their names, I just want to say thanks for allowing a stranger to be part of your day. I’ll hopefully be here next month – so long.